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Sociology

Sociology aims to broaden students’ minds, helping them to see their world from different perspectives and in new and thought-provoking ways.

Our Sociology curriculum intends to cultivate the sociological imagination, enhancing the ability of students in understanding how individual and group behaviour is shaped by society's historical development, how personal problems are connected to public issues of social structure, and how to work with others to improve social conditions.

Students will develop knowledge and understanding of the contextualised work of key classical sociologists such as Durkheim, Marx and Weber referencing both their view of the world and their contribution to the development of the discipline. Students will examine different sociological perspectives on social structures, social processes and social issues, including those informed by: feminism, functionalism, interactionism and Marxism and key arguments identified through reading and responding to extracts from key sociological texts.

Students will use sociological theories and evidence to compare and contrast social issues, construct reasoned arguments and debates, make substantiated judgements and connections between the different topic areas studied.

By studying sociology, students will develop transferable skills of research, application of sociological theory, analysis and evaluation. Students will analyse and evaluate different research methods used in sociological investigations and assess, critically, the appropriateness of their use. Students will apply their understanding to explore and debate the current sociological issues outlined in each of the topic areas and assess ideas by identifying their strengths and weaknesses to draw reasoned conclusions.

The subject of Sociology KS4 and 5 is designed to develop knowledge and skills for the further study of Sociology, and related subjects, such as Psychology, Anthropology, Criminology, Social Policy, Politics and Law.

KEYSTAGE 4

GCSE Sociology helps students to gain knowledge and understanding of key social structures, processes and issues through the study of families, education, crime and deviance and social stratification.

Students will develop their analytical, assimilation and communication skills by comparing and contrasting perspectives on a variety of social issues, constructing reasoned arguments, making substantiated judgements and drawing reasoned conclusions.

By studying sociology, students will develop transferable skills including how to:

• investigate facts and make deductions

• develop opinions and new ideas on social issues

• analyse and better understand the social world.

KS4 Overview and Assessments 

TERM & THEME YEAR 10 

Autumn Term 1

The Sociological Approach 

Students will learn:

  • key sociological terms and concepts concerned with social structures, social processes and social issues and the explanation of social phenomena including: society, socialisation, norms, values, roles, labelling, discrimination, power and authority.
  • Debates within sociology including conflict versus consensus the contextualised work (a sense of time and place) of key classical sociologists Durkheim, Marx and Weber referencing both their view of the world and their contribution to the development of the discipline.
  • Sociological perspectives on social structures, social processes and social issues, including those informed by: feminism, functionalism, interactionism and Marxism and key arguments (identified through reading and responding to extracts from key sociological texts)

Assessment:

Introduction to Sociology assessment of key concepts and theory.

Autumn Term 2

Research Methods 

Students will learn:

  • How to use sociological research methods as outlined in the topics and how they apply in the specified contexts ie families, education, crime and deviance, social stratification.
  • Identify, describe and explain various methods and methodological issues
  • identify and explain the advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses of a particular method for a specific area of research
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the process of research design for a specific area of research, including practical difficulties and ethical issues
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relevance and usefulness of various primary and secondary sources for a specific area of research
  • Demonstrate the ability to interpret data presented in a variety of forms.

Assessment:

 On research methods

Spring Term 1 

Families and Households 

Students will learn:

The functions of the family.

  • Identify, describe and explain the functions of families (sexual, reproductive, economic and educational)
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on the functions of families (functionalist, feminist and Marxist).

Family forms

  • Students should be able to identify, describe and explain various family forms (nuclear, extended, reconstituted, lone parent, single sex).

Conjugal role relationships

  • Identify, describe and explain joint and segregated conjugal roles
  • Describe and explain the domestic division of labour in both traditional and contemporary families
  • Demonstrate their understanding of issues that impact on conjugal role relationships within the contemporary family including decision making, money management, dual career families, child rearing and leisure activities
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on conjugal role relationships (functionalist, feminist and Marxist).  Mid-topic assessment

Changing relationships within families

  • Identify, describe and explain how relationships within families have changed over time (pre- industrial, industrial and contemporary/modern)
  • Identify, describe and explain contemporary family related issues, the quality of parenting, the relationships between teenagers and adults, care of the disabled/elderly and arranged marriage
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on changing relationships within families (functionalist, feminist and Marxist)
  • Describe the key ideas of Willmott and Young

Criticisms of families

  • Identify, describe and explain different criticisms of families
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on these issues (functionalist, feminist and Marxist) Key studies

Spring Term 2

Families and Households 

Students will learn:

Divorce

  • Identify, describe and explain the pattern of divorce in Britain since 1945 using relevant statistical data
  • Explain reasons for the rise in divorce since 1945 including: changes in the law, changes in social attitudes and values, secularisation, changes in the status of women in society
  • Describe the consequences of divorce for family members (husband and wife, children and extended family) and the increase in the numbers of lone parent families
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on these issues (functionalist, feminist and Marxist).

Assessment:

  • Students to undertake small-scale research projects in order to develop their understanding of the practical difficulties faced by the sociologists working in the field- this will be completed in the family unit.

Education

Roles and functions of education

  • identify, describe and explain the  functions of education including serving  the needs of the economy, facilitating  social mobility and fostering social cohesion
  • Identify and describe a variety of different types of schools.
  • Describe alternative forms of educational provision including home  schooling and de- schooling
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on these issues (functionalist, feminist and Marxist)
  • Describe the key ideas of Durkheim and Parsons

The relationship between education and capitalism

  • Describe the key ideas of Bowles and Gintis on education and capitalism
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of alternative sociological perspectives on the correspondence principle.

Summer Term 1

Education

Students will learn:

Educational achievement

  • Identify, describe and explain various factors affecting educational achievement including class, gender and ethnicity
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on these issues (functionalist, feminist and Marxist)
  • Describe the key ideas of Halsey on class-based inequalities
  • Describe the key ideas of Ball on parental choice and competition between schools

Summer Term 2

Education 

Processes within schools

  • Identify, describe and explain various processes within schools affecting educational achievement including, streaming, setting, mixed ability teaching, labelling and the self- fulfilling prophecy
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on these issues
  • Describe the key ideas of Ball on teacher expectations
  • Describe the key ideas of Willis on the creation of counter school cultures.

Revision/ Exam prep

End of year exam

 

TERM & THEME YEAR 11

Autumn Term 1

Crime and Deviance 

Students will learn:

The social construction of crime and deviance

  • Identify,describe and explain various sociological explanations of crime and deviance including anomie, labelling, structural theories, subcultural theories and interactionist theory
  • Explain the social construction of concepts of crime and deviance

Social control

  • Identify, describe and explain formal and informal methods of social control including unwritten rules and sanctions
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on social control (interactionist, functionalist, feminist and Marxist)
  • Describe the key ideas of Heidensohn on female conformity.

Data on crime

  • Identify and describe the main sources of data on crime
  • Describe the pattern and trends in crime figures using relevant statistical data
  • Explain the ‘dark figure’ of crime (unreported and unrecorded crime)

Theories of crime

  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on crime and deviance (interactionist, functionalist, feminist and Marxist)
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on the use of data on crime (functionalist, feminist and Marxist).
Describe the key ideas of Merton and Becker 

Autumn Term 2

Mid-Topic assessment 

Criminal and deviant behavior.

  • Identify, describe and explain factors affecting criminal and deviant behaviour including social class, gender, ethnicity and age
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on factors affecting criminal and deviant behaviour (interactionist, functionalist, feminist and Marxist)
  • Describe the key ideas of Albert Cohen on delinquent subcultures
  • Describe the key ideas of Carlen on women, crime and poverty.

Crime and Media

  • Identify and describe various public debates over criminal and deviant behaviour including concerns over violent crime, sentencing, the treatment of young offenders, the prison system and media coverage of crime

Sentencing and Punishment/Youth crime

  • Sentencing, the treatment of young offenders, the prison system

 

End of unit assessment

Spring Term 1

Social Stratification 

Students will learn:

Functionalist theory of stratification

  • Describe and explain the functionalist theory of stratification (effective role allocation and performance linked to the promise of rewards)
  • Describe the key ideas of Davis and Moore 
  • Describe, compare and contrast alternative perspectives on functionalist theory (feminist and Marxist).

Socio-economic class

  • Identify, describe and explain socio-economic class divisions in society
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on socio-economic class (functionalist, feminist and Marxist)
  • Describe the key ideas of Marx on socio-economic class
  • Describe the key ideas of Weber on socio-economic class.

Life chances

  • Identify, describe and explain factors affecting life chances including social class, gender, race and ethnicity, sexuality, age, disability, religion and belief
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on life chances (functionalist, feminist and Marxist)
  • Describe the key ideas of Devine on the idea of the affluent worker.

Spring Term 2

Poverty as a Social Issue

 

  • Identify, describe and explain different interpretations of poverty as a social issue including, the culture of poverty, material deprivation, the way in which governments have attempted to alleviate poverty and unemployment.
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on poverty (functionalist, feminist and Marxist)
  • Describe the key ideas of Townsend  on relative deprivation
  • Describe the key ideas of Murray on the underclass including links to New Right theories.  Globalisation
  • Describe the impact of globalisation

Power and authority

  • Identify, describe and explain different forms of power and authority including traditional, charismatic, rational-legal, formal and informal sources of power

Political Power and  the Welfare state

  • Forms of government and Politics
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on power and authority
  • Describe the key ideas of Weber on power and authority

Summer Term 1

Power Relationships 

  • Identify, describe and explain different factors affecting power relationships including social class, gender, sexuality, race, age, disability, religion and beliefs
  • Describe, compare and contrast a variety of sociological perspectives on power relationships (functionalist, feminist and Marxist)
  • Describe the key ideas of Walby on patriarchy.
Revision

Summer Term 2

 

Exam

 

EXAM BOARD AQA

Paper 1 Paper 2
The Sociology of Families and Education  The Sociology of Crime and Deviance and Social Stratification 

What's assessed

• The sociology of families

• The sociology of education

• Relevant areas of social theory and methodology

 

Students will be expected to draw on knowledge and understanding of the entire course of study to show a deeper understanding of these topics.

 

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

• 100 marks

• 50% of GCSE

 

Questions

• Section A has two multiple choice questions followed by a range of short and extended responses.

• Section B has two multiple choice questions followed by a range of short and extended responses.

What's assessed

• The sociology of crime and deviance

• The sociology of social stratification

• Relevant areas of social theory and methodology

Students will be expected to draw on knowledge and understanding of the entire course of study to show a deeper understanding of these topics.

 

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

• 100 marks

• 50% of GCSE

 

Questions

• Section A has two multiple choice questions followed by a range of short and extended responses.

• Section B has two multiple choice questions followed by a range of short and extended responses.

ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES AT KEYSTAGE 4 

  • Sociology Ambassadors
  • Trips to the Old Bailey
  • Trips to the Museum of London
  • Trips to the Museum of Childhood

USEFUL WEBSITES, RESOURCES, REVISION MATERIALS AND EXEMPLAR WORK

KEYSTAGE 5

The study of Sociology must focus on contemporary society and foster the development of critical and reflective thinking with a respect for social diversity. It must provide an awareness of the importance of social structure and social action in explaining social issues. Students must be encouraged to develop their own sociological awareness through active engagement with the contemporary social world.

The specification has been designed with the clear objective of addressing the requirements above and will encourage students to:

  • Acquire knowledge and a critical understanding of contemporary social processes and social changes
  • Appreciate the significance of theoretical and conceptual issues in sociological debate
  • Understand and evaluate sociological methodology and a range of research methods through active involvement in the research process
  • Develop skills that enable individuals to focus on their personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society
  • Develop a lifelong interest in social issues.

KS5 Overview and Assessments

TERM & THEME YEAR 12 

Autumn Term 1

Families and Households 

Students will learn:

Couples

  • The domestic division of labour: Instrumental and expressive roles, joint and segregated roles.
  • The Symmetrical family
  • Feminist view of housework
  • Are couples becoming more equal? Paid work, the march of progress view, the feminist view, responsibility for childcare and quality work.
  • Explaining the gender division of labour
  • Resources and decision making in households.
  • Domestic Violence including explanations.

Childhood:

  • The modern, Western idea of childhood and cross-cultural differences in childhood
  • Globalisation and childhood
  • Historical differences in childhood
  • Reasons for changes in the position of children and the future of childhood 

 

Education: Students will learn

Introduction to Sociology:

  • What is Sociology
  • Norms and Values
  • Culture

Sociological views and education:

  • Functionalism
  • New Right
  • Marxism
  • Evaluation of theories

Timed assessment

Autumn Term 2 

Families and Households

Students will learn:

  • The disappearance of childhood
  • Childhood in postmodernity, has the position of children improved?
  • The new sociology of childhood.

Theories of the family

  • Functionalist perspective of the family
  • Marxist perspective of the family.
  • Feminist perspective of the family.
  • The personal life perspective on families.

Assessment

Spring Term 1

Families and Households 

Students will learn:

Demography

  • Births: including fertility, decline in birth rates. Effects of changes in fertility, including the family and public policies.
  • Deaths: including reasons for the decline in death rate and life expectancy.
  • The ageing population:
  • Ageism, modernity and postmodernity.
  • Migration/ Globalisation and migration

Changing family patterns

  • Divorce
  • Partnerships
  • Cohabitation
  • Same-sex relationships
  • One-person households

 

Parents and children

  • Childbearing
  • Lone-parent families
  • Stepfamilies
  • Ethnic differences in family patterns
  • The extended family today

Spring Term 2

Families and Households 

Students will learn:

Family Diversity

  • Functionalism
  • The New Right
  • Chester-the neo-conventional family
  • The Rapoports; five types of family diversity.
  • Postmodernism; including, the pure relationship, same sex couples, the negotiated family and the connectedness thesis.

Social Policy

  • Comparative view of child policy-China, Romania, Nazis and democratic societies.
  • Functionalism
  • The New Right
  • Feminism

Assessment

Research methods

  • Choosing a research method
  • Experiments
  • Questionnaires

Summer Term 1

Research Methods 

 

Research methods:

Students will learn:

  • Interviews
  • Participant observation
  • Secondary sources

Assessment

Revision

Summer Term 2

 

Revision

End of year Exam

 

EXAM BOARD AND WEIGHTINGS 

Linear Assessments

PAPER 1 PAPER 2 PAPER 3
Education with Theory and Methods Topics in Sociology  Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods 

What's assessed

Compulsory content 4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.1.3

What's assessed 

Section A: one from option 1: 4.2.2

Section B: one from option 2: 4.2.5

What's assessed 

Compulsory content 4.3.1, 4.3.2

Assessed

  • 2 hour written exam 
  • 80 marks
  • 33.3% of A-level

Assessed 

  • 2 hour written exam 
  • 80 marks
  • 33.3% of A-level

Assessed

  • 2 hour written exam 
  • 80 marks
  • 33.3% of A-level

Questions

  • Education: short answer and extended writing, 50 marks
  • Methods in Context: extended writing, 10 marks

Questions

  • Section A: extended writing, 40 marks
  • Section B: 40 marks

Questions 

  • Crime and Deviance: short answer and extended writing, 50 marks
  •  Theory and Methods: extended writing, 30  marks

ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES AT KEYSTAGE 5

  • Trips to the Old Bailey
  • Trips to Museums
  • Trips to the temple of Scientology
  • Sociology ambassadors
  • Sociology test buddies
  • Sociology film club
  • Speakers

USEFUL WEBSITES, RESOURCES, REVISION MATERIALS AND EXEMPLAR WORK

 
WHO’S IN THE TEAM?
 
 
Faculty staff members: 
Ms S. Rosario, Head of Faculty of Social Sciences and Head of Sociology
 
Teachers: 
 

KS4

  • Ms S. Rosario - Head of Faculty 
  • Ms H. Lee - Teacher of Sociology/Citizenship and Social Sciences

  • Ms F. Akinyeye - Teacher of Health and Social Care and Sociology

  • Ms D. Bridgstock - Teacher of Sociology and Social Studies

KS5

  • Ms S. Rosario - Head of Faculty 

  • Ms. F. Akinyeye - Teacher of Health and Social Care and Sociology

  • Ms D. Bridgstock - Teacher of Sociology and Social Studies

  • Ms S. Afonso - Teacher of Psychology/Lead Practitioner for ITT

  • Ms B. Davidson - Teacher of Citizenship